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Christina Stella / Harvest Public Media

Farmers On The Missouri River Sue The Army Corps Of Engineers For Flood Damages

Farmers along the Missouri River won a mass action federal lawsuit last December against the Army Corps of Engineers for land damages they say are traceable to the agency’s management of the river.

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Carlos Moreno / KCUR

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of meatpacking plants across the country have struggled to contain outbreaks. Many of the hardest-hit plants are in the Midwest and Great Plains, where the virus initially spread on crowded production lines. 

Provided by Fedco Seeds

Steve Larimore was hoping to triple the size of his garden this year.

Once the seed catalog arrived at his home near Bend, Ore., Larimore excitedly got his order together. He then went online and began adding the different seed varieties to his cart, only to discover about a third of the items he wanted were unavailable. 

Tomatoes? Sold out. Kale? Gone. Sweet corn? Nope.

“I was pretty discouraged,” he says. “There were some things that I’ve grown before that I really like and I wanted to grow again and they didn’t have those.” 

File Photo / Abbie Fentress Swanson / Harvest Public Media

Several large meat processing companies recently settled price-fixing lawsuits, but it’s unlikely those payments will change much in the food business, experts say.

Tyson agreed to a $221.5 million settlement with three consumer and purchasing groups that filed suit against the poultry giant. Chicken producer Pilgrim’s Pride and pork company JBS also settled similar complaints. 

A series of studies at Purdue University show it’s less expensive for companies to continue price fixing and pay fines instead of reforming their practices.

Courtesy of USDA

Last month, the Illinois Department of Agriculture opened applications for its second annual Fall Covers for Spring Savings Program -- which provides a crop insurance discount for each acre of cover crop a farmer plants.

 

It filled up in less than 24 hours.

 

Erica Hunzinger / Harvest Public Media

Donald Trump won two-thirds of the vote in rural areas in the last two presidential elections — highlighting what some see as a growing divide between rural and urban America.

Now, a Washington, D.C., based think tank suggests the Biden administration look to expand broadband internet access in rural areas to help bridge the economic divide.

Read this article in English here.

Durante más de una década, Saraí ha sido una trabajadora agrícola que ha cultivado maíz y soya en los campos del centro de Illinois. Se mudó de México a los Estados Unidos para encontrar un trabajo que le permitiera mantener mejor a su familia.

Seth Bodine / Harvest Public Media

Mary Chris Barth knows how important it is to control the soil in the panhandle of Oklahoma. She’s the child of parents that grew up in the Dust Bowl. When farmers started planting fence row to fence row in the 1970s and removing the native plants from the soil, she remembers farmers trying to control the dust. Barth, a former president of the Beaver County Farm Bureau and a farmer in the area, says some of the soil should have never been touched. 

Christine Herman/Illinois Newsroom

For more than a decade, Saraí has been a farmworker, cultivating corn and soybeans in the fields of central Illinois. She moved to the U.S. from Mexico to find work that would allow her to better support her family.

Why Even Corn Can Get A Bad Night Of Sleep

Jan 15, 2021
Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media file photo

In 2020, a stubborn enemy emerged for corn farmers across the Great Plains: drought. Today, about half of the U.S. is in drought, with large swaths of Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Illinois impacted.

Esther Honig / Harvest Public Media file photo

Despite COVID-19 risks and high unemployment rates last year, employers wanted to fill more jobs filled with H-2A guest workers in 2020.

Usually, high unemployment rates decrease the demand for H-2A workers. Diane Charlton, a professor of agricultural economics at Montana State University, says a 1% increase in a state’s unemployment rate is associated with a 5% decrease in demand for H-2A workers, according to a recent study. She says that trend didn't hold up in 2020. 

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Change At The Climate Divide

Farms and communities are struggling to adapt as climate change has moved the line dividing the arid west and the rain-soaked east.

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